OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive Review

RevoDrive Overview
The RevoDrive is unlike any other solid state drive we have looked at before, it looks more like a sound card or something similar rather than a hard drive.  OCZ uses a black PCB, which makes the drive look really cool.  So how does this all come together and work as a hard drive?  Well first it actually is essentially 2 drives on one card.  The RevoDrive uses 2, yes 2 SandForce SF-1200 controllers.  The same SF-1222TA3-SBH chips we have seen in the other SandForce drives we have looked at.

OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive

So how does OCZ get these 2 different controllers and drives to work as one?  They use a Silicon Image SiL3124 RAID controller, which is located on the center of the board.  This controller allows up to 4 SATA channels to communicate to a PCI-X bus in a RAID configuration.  This card is designed to operate on the PCI-E bus though so OCZ uses the Pericom PI7C9X130 chip to bridge the connection so the SiL3124 RAID controller can communicate with the PCI-E bus.  Towards the end of the card you have the MLC NAND flash chips.  They are the Intel 29F32G08AAMDB 4GB chips.  There are 8 chips on the front of the card.

OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive

If we flip the card over there really is not that much on the back except 8 more flash NAND chips, giving you a total of 16.  So in total 64GB of NAND flash, but only 50GB is used as the rest is used for over-provisioning.

OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive

Installation
Installing the card in your computer is pretty simple, just find an empty PCI-E slot and lock the card in to place.  We installed the drive in the bottom PCI-E slot, right below our video card.

OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCI-E Solid State Drive

Unlike many other PCI-E storage cards the RevoDrive is bootable and you can install Windows or any other operating system on it.  For our testing we are just going to use it as a plain storage add-on card.  When you first boot into Windows the drive will not be recognized at all.  That is because you will need to install the driver, which is located here.  Once you install the driver the drive is recognized as a “SiImage SCSI Disk Device” and from there you can format the drive and start using it.

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